Are you a fresh graduate of NOUN (or any other institutions in Nigeria) ? This piece is for you!
In this article, you will find some of the golden advice that will set you on the right path as you enter into the “real world”.
Before the advice, i’d like to share with you some of the common mistakes graduates make that hurt their success. So, make sure you read through!
COMMON MISTAKES GRADUATES MAKE AFTER GRADUATION THAT HURTS THEIR SUCCESS
These are the common mistakes graduates make after graduation:
1. Waiting for Destiny Helpers to give you a Job
I’m very sure some of your uncles or aunties must have promised you a job after graduation. Isn’t it? Of course it is! But, May I inform you that this promise do not always come to pass in most cases? In fact, depending on that uncle or sister is one of the colossal mistakes you can ever make as a fresh graduate. The reason is that immediately you graduate, majority of them will not even pick your call again nor talk to you about the job they promised you when you were still an undergraduate. This can be so touching at times and if care is not taken, you might waste a lot years at home waiting for that “miracle job” to come.
This is the way out –Rather than waiting for people to get you a good job, you can start hunting for job yourself by: checking the newspapers, watching the television, listening to radio, browsing job listing websites, and lots more. Although, this process might be daunting at times, but it pays a lot because sooner or later, your efforts will soon show off.
2. Submitting Job Applications without Self-improvement
This is yet another mistake you need to avoid as a fresh graduate. While you submit applications to hiring companies, it is not enough to just wait back without adding any value to yourself.
I don’t think I need to tell you how competitive and crowded the Nigerian labour market has become today. Therefore, you need to add value to yourself as you are hoping to get that your dream job. Learn new skills, acquire more knowledge and obtain special certifications that go in line with your chosen field. When you get all these, you can easily add them up to your CV and that will give you an edge over some other applicants.
Assuming your firm is looking for a Financial Officer, and Mr. A applies with BSc. In Accounting, while Mr. B applies with BSc. in Accounting + ICAN + ATS 2. Which of the two would you hire?
Mr. B of course! Because he possess the certifications that will enable him to perform excellently if eventually hired.
I think you now know the reason you should improve on your skills and abilities as a fresh graduate.
3. Keeping your Job Search to yourself
Many fresh graduates are fond of making this mistake and it can be costly at times. Never assume that people are already aware that you are looking for job, No! Inform your friends, relatives, siblings, neighbors, and every other person that you think could be of help to you. Remember, “A problem shared, is half-solved”.
However, make sure you let these people understand what you are capable of doing i.e your field of study, the skills you possess, the certifications you are holding, and lots more. This would fast-track your journey as you hunt for a good job.
4. Depending on your University Certificate or Grade Point
Attending a renowned institution or graduating with a very good grade is pretty good. But may I tell you that the above does not guarantee you success in life. In fact, majority of the world richest or influential people never had that!
What I’m saying in essence is that success is not a function of excellent result alone; you need to develop a positive mindset, create connections with the right caliber of people, acquire the relevant skills, obtain some Professional Certifications, but to mention a few. Your ability to have any of the above will place you in a good place whether you are searching for a job or starting a business.
5. Believing that paid job is the only available option
One of the biggest mistake you can ever make as a fresh graduate is to limit yourself to job hunting alone. The reason is that jobs are very scarce nowadays, and majority of those who even manage to get employed, are complaining of unpaid salaries or maltreatment from their bosses.
Therefore, you need to think outside the box. You may consider starting a business around your community, and the best way to get started is by searching within youself, what is that specific thing you are very passionate about? What are the problems you can solve with your inbuilt skills and talents? What are the pressing needs around your community? What are the major problems that people face daily in your vicinity?
A combination of all these will give you a sound business idea that you can turn into a real business venture.
However, never be tempted to start a business just because you’ve gotten a very good business idea. That’s not enough. You need to assess the viability & feasibility of that business idea by considering some factors like:
– Market Size: are there any people who might be interested in the business? How large is their number? Are they ready to pay for the product/service if it is eventually launched? etc.
– Competition level: are there any firms who are already offering the same product or service? How prominent are they? Do you have something unique to overcome them? etc.
– Future Demands: Will this product/service still be relevant in the next 20 – 30 years? Are there any potential/existing commodities that can decrease the demand for the product/service? etc.
– Required Skills and Capital: What are the essential skills & resources required in this business? How much will you need to start the business? What are the essential tools you need to get started? etc.
Your ability to provide genuine and convincing responses to the above questions is what will keep your business running, even when the going gets tough.
Now, to the advice…
7 GOLDEN ADVICE FOR GRADUATING STUDENTS
1. NEVER STOP LEARNING
“He who stops learning, will soon stop growing”
What you were thought in school is never enough for you in real life. In fact, research shows that 80% of what we learn in school becomes useless immediately after graduation.
The bitter truth is that schools can only teach you a few things; they can never teach you everything about life.
For instance, schools can never teach you how to run a happy home, how to become influential in life, how to manage your finance, but to mention a few.
This is why you need to constantly update your knowledge by reading life-changing books, learning new skills, watching educative videos or tutorials, and lots more.
Remember, self education is the best form of education, and this is one of the secrets of the successful people you see today.
2. DON’T EVER ABANDON YOUR COLLEGE FRIENDS
It is very suicidal to abandon your fellow students just because you are no more together. The reason is that you never know what tomorrow holds for them. For instance, that “wretched guy/lady” might be the CEO that will be interviewing you in few years to come. Also, your friend might later have connections with the people who can help you when you need a job or other things.
Therefore, never allow graduation to break your friendship!
3. SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO VOLUNTEER
One of the things that employers are always looking for while recruiting is Work experience, whereas you may not have that since you’re just a fresh graduate.
At this juncture, you may need to volunteer yourself and be working at different companies that allow that in your area.
Although, you may not be paid, but you will be able to gain more knowledge and experience about the business, which would later be an added advantage for you when next you are seeking a job.
Funny thing is that the company can even retain you when they see your level of commitment and versatility.
4. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS
As a fresh graduate, a lot of expenses would be popping up every day, but you must learn to say no to frivolous spending.
Don’t live outside your means just because you want to please others. Remember, they won’t be the ones to suffer the consequences
5.DISCIPLINE IS KEY
Discipline is one of the things that will help you in real life. You must be disciplined in your financial life, in your health life, in your career, in your relationship with other people, and so on. When you are well disciplined, you will be able to achieve greater things in life and success will not be faraway.
6. BE DILIGENT IN ALL YOU DO
“What is worth doing, is worth doing well”.
Whatever you find yourself doing, make sure you do it with utmost diligence and commitment. Whether you are learning a new skill, or you’re volunteering, or you are running a new business, make sure you are diligent with it. You might think no one is watching but really, people are watching you, and your efforts might soon pay off if you don’t stop doing so.
7. DEVELOP A POSITIVE MINDSET
You need to develop the right mindset so as to be able to achieve something great in life.
Never be pessimistic about your future.
Believe in yourself.
Open your mind to possibilities.
Never say to yourself “I can’t achieve this” or “It is impossible for me” You have all it takes to become a better person in life. Don’t limit yourself!